Tuesday 1 May 2018

Alone Together: A Novel ♥Blog Tour ♥ Excerpt & Giveaway

Alone Together: A Novel 


Sadie Carter’s life is a mess, as wavy and tangled as her unruly hair. At 15, she is barely surviving the chaos of her large Catholic family. When one sister becomes pregnant and another is thrown out, her unemployed dad hides his depression, and her mom hides a secret. Sadie, the peacekeeper and rule-follower, has had enough. The empty refrigerator, years of hand-me-downs, and all the secrets have to stop. She longs for something more and plans her escape.

However, getting arrested was not her plan. Falling in love was not her plan. With the help of three mysterious strangers—a cop, a teacher, and a cute boy—maybe Sadie will find the strength to defy the rules and do the unexpected.

Told in verse, Sarah J. Donovan’s debut Alone Together has secrets, romance, struggle, sin, and redemption, all before Sadie blows out her 16 candles. It’s a courageously honest look at growing up in a big family.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble  



I knew he’d come,

he’d be the one

because Mom’s always at church these days,

because he’s always in the garage these days.

I knew he’d be stoic

as he shook the hand

of the police commander—

a 6’ 6” Santa Claus

with a badge.

Nobody speaks

for what feels like


I   say a silent prayer— for what I don’t know.
God has more important things to worry about these days.

Dad leans back in his chair.

Crosses his legs.

I notice his overgrown toenails

stretching just beyond the sole

of his too-small flip flops.

Laces his hands behind his head.

I notice the stench of several shower-free days seeping into the silence.

Santa runs his hands through his silver hair, smoothes out his beard, blue eyes taking note of this

father-daughter dynamic.

“Today’s my last day,” says Santa.

“and it looks to me

like you could use

a break.”

I’m not sure

if he’s talking to me,

if he’s talking to Dad,

but my hands are praying

for some miracle.


tosses my violation in the trash.


stands to shake my hand.

My fingers are lost in his palm, and

I swear his blue eyes twinkle as he says, “Make better choices, Sadie.”

Christmas in August, I think.

A Christmas miracle, I think.

Until Dad finally breaks his silence to say, “Got a few bucks for gas?”

I’m not sure

if he’s talking to me,

if he’s talking to Santa,

but Santa takes out a ten

and hands it to Dad.

Review:  ♥ ♥

Alone together is written in verse giving the story a unique style. The book is broken up into individual headings but follows perfectly.

Sadie Carter is one of many. She has so many brothers and sisters it's hard to keep up. In fact, the author numbers them instead of giving their names up front. Her family are strict catholic's and Sadie has to watch how her parent's views affect the dynamics of the family. It's complete chaos and the chance of having something of her own is slim. Her clothes are hand downs, her time is shared and her fridge is empty. When a large family go to the supermarket a box of pop tarts is snapped up. 6 just aren't enough.

Sadie is struggling to fit in her family. The rules are hard to follow. Her friends are going to parties and her family is spreading out. Sadie just wants her own sanctuary. She begins to act out finding herself in trouble. Secrets, Catholic sins and romance are mixed in with all the chaos.

This was an interesting idea for a story and the style is unique. It definitely got me thinking about my own upbringing. I'm a child of 3. The middle child. I didn't have the responsibility of the oldest nor the full hand me downs of the youngest but the one thing I did learn was I craved for the attention of an only child. I can't imagine coming from such a large family. Alone together is a glimpse into that reality and what it means for a younger sibling. The Catholic twist also made me glad in a modern world people are more accepted for who they are... or hopefully they are.

3 stars out of 5. I received an ARC as part of the blog tour. My review is honest and fair.

Alone Together
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: May 1st 2018
262 pages

About the Author

Sarah J. Donovan is the author of Alone Together and Genocide Literature in Middle and Secondary Classrooms. A junior high English teacher by day and college education professor by night, she spends every other moment reading young adult novels and writing. She lives with her husband in Downers Grove, Illinois in a condo so she can write instead of mowing the lawn or shoveling snow. When she is not teaching, reading, or writing, she can be found playing sand volleyball with amazing Chicagoland women. (Yes, even in the winters.)You can see all her “shelfies”on Instagram @donovan_sd or tweet @MrsSJDonovan.

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Win a class set of Alone Together for your local high school: https://sarahjdonovan.wordpress.com/promotions/


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